The sound of bells greeted Pope Francis’ arrival to Assisi, where he will participate in the Day of Prayer for Peace, an event that will mark the end of the interreligious event “Thirst for Peace”, organized by the Sant’Egidio Community, the diocese of Assisi, and by the Franciscan Families.
The pontiff, who arrived from the Vatican in a helicopter, was welcomed by Msgr. Domenico Sorrentino, archbishop of Assisi, Catiuscia Marini, President of the Umbria Region, Raffaele Cannizzaro, prefect of Perugia and Stefania Proietti, Mayor of Assisi. Bergoglio is accompanied by Msgr. Angelo Becciu, the Deputy Secretary of State and by Msgr. George Gaenswein, Prefect of the Pontifical Household. In the Sacred Convent, he was welcomed by the father keeper Mauro Gambetti, the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew I, the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, the Syrian Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch Efrem II, as well as representatives of Muslim, Jewish and other religions. Warm embrace with Abraham Skorka, Argentine rabbi with whom the Holy Father has had a deep friendship since the times when he was Archbishop of Buenos Aires.
Then, the Pope talked with the 25 refugees who had had lunch together with him and other spiritual leaders. Ten of them have arrived to Italy thanks to the Sant’Egidio humanitarian corridors. Ten of them come from Cara in Castelnuovo di Porto and 5 are assisted by Caritas of Assisi.
During the meal in the Dining Hall of the Sacred Convent, Bergoglio seemed to be “a resident.” There were about 500 religious representatives who attended the event together with him. “Prayer for Peace was prepared by a nice moment of conviviality” said the founder of the Community of Sant’Egidio, Andrea Riccardi. At the Pope’s table, there were the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I and the Albanian priest Ernst Simoni Troshani who lived the dictatorship in Albania and who had already Francis on the latter’s visit to Tirana. Near the Pontiff, there were Rabbi David Rosen, the Polish philosopher Zygmunt Bauman, the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby and a refugee. To conclude the celebration, a cake with 25 candles to celebrate the 25 years of Patriarchy Bartholomew I. For the occasion, was uncorked a bottle of champagne.
Here is the program of the Pope’s visit:
3:15 p.m. The Holy Father meets individually:
– His Holiness Bartholomew I
– A Muslim representative
– His Grace the Archbishop Justin Welby
– His Holiness Patriarch Ephrem II
– A representative of Judaism
4:00 p.m. In different places: Moment of Prayer for Peace
Lower Basilica of St. Francis
ECUMENICAL PRAYER FOR CHRISTIANS
5:00 p.m. After the prayer, all participants come out of the Lower Basilica, meet the representatives of other religions, who prayed in other places, and sit down on the stage in the Square
5:15 p.m. St. Francis Sqare
- Greeting S.E. Msgr. Domenico Sorrentino, Archbishop-Bishop of Assisi – Nocera Umbra – Gualdo Tadino
6:30 p.m. The Holy Father says goodbye and is transferred towards the heliport of Santa Maria degli Angeli
7:00 p.m. Takeoff from the sports field “Migaghelli” in Santa Maria degli Angeli
19:35 Landing in the Vatican
photos from Ansa.it